This Week Today - Current Events from Israel

Ben Packer,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Ben Packer
Originally from Petersburg, Virginia, Ben Packer moved to Israel in 1999, where he served in the IDF's Givati Brigade in the Gaza Strip. Ben served as a Rabbi on campus at Univ. of North Carolina and at Duke Univ. Ben now serves as Director of the Jerusalem Heritage House (www.heritagehouse.org.il) and Co-Director of Young Jewish Conservatives (www.youngjewishconservatives.org). He lives in the Old City of Jerusalem with his wife and 6 children....

Just got back from the incredibly sad funeral on the Mount of Olives for the baby - Amiad Yisrael, hy'd, - who died as a result of the terror attack at Ofra this week. I was at a wedding when I heard the sad news, it was raining, and I thought it was the right thing to leave the wedding and go to the funeral. Suffice it to say, we are much stronger than the terrorists and as horrifically sad as the death of an innocent baby is, it will in no way lead to any surrender, just the opposite. More details on the terrorist attack below.

Guess Who's Back, Anti-Semitism's back!

The world is abuzz with the resurgence of anti-Semitism. Of course, it never really went away. Large surge in reported incidents all over Europe and North America. Virtually none of us can remember what it was like to have these things happen when there wasn't a State of Israel. Hopefully we'll never experience that kind of fear. For now, everyone should stay vigilant,

Terrorist Attack at Ofra

As was mentioned before, earlier this week arab terrorists opened fire on Jews standing at a bus stop outside of the community of Ofra, just to the north of Jerusalem. Between 7-9 people were hit by gunfire, including a severely wounded pregnant woman. While everyone else was expected to recover, the prognosis from the pregnant woman was not encouraging at all. Her baby was delivered 10 weeks early, but had suffered severe trauma from the injuries to the mother. As of now, through seemingly a miracle, the woman has made a dramatic recovery. Although still in the intensive care unit, she is awake and communicating. Her husband was shot three times, and is there with her in the hospital. Very, very sadly, the baby did not make it. On its fourth day of life, the baby passed away and was just buried a few hours ago on the Mount of Olives. It rained throughout the funeral as G-d's tears mixed with those of the people present.

In the past few hours, one of the cursed terrorists has been killed by Israeli forces and 2 others arrested. Still developing, but seems they are all off the streets as of now. There are undoubtedly many hoping for a stronger response from the Government to the terror attack. I wouldn't put any money on that.

More Hezbollah Tunnels

More hezbollah tunnels from lebanon into Israel have been discovered this week. For now, both hezbollah and lebanese forces seem content to watch the IDF destroy them without responding in any way. They've been taking pictures/videos of the Israeli soldiers and making fun of them, but really shows their intense fear of potential Israeli retaliation more than anything else. The operation continues and probably will for some time into the future. The UN Peacekeepers look like the incompetent losers that they are. They have been forced to admit that the tunnels were built right under their stuck-up noses. Between the continued/resurgent existence of anti-Semitism, arab terror and UN idiocy - not too many surprises this week.

The Current Government Coalition Continues!

One surprise is that current Government coalition continues to exist and even passed a law this week. Its not a very important one, it just makes it easier for Netanyahu to continue to be Prime Minister after the next elections, whenever they are held. To show how unsustainable this all is, just tonight, Minister Ayub Kara (A Druze Likud party Knesset Member and Minister in the Government) suffered a heart attack in the Knesset and was rushed to the hospital unconscious. (An arab MK, who is a doctor, administered CPR, so his political career might be over. Recently the chief of arab police in Hevron was removed from his post for helping Israeli soldiers change a tire. Seems like a lesser offense, relatively speaking). Anyway, now the Government is down another vote and has a 60-59 majority. Shouldn't be too much longer now before early elections are announced.

Adam Junction Completed (Finally!)

Some good news this week. Thank G-d! The junction outside of the community of Adam, directly north of Jerusalem, has been the source of awful traffic congestion for many years. This week, a newly renovated interchange was opened that allows traffic to flow remarkably better. Additionally, farther up the road, a new traffic light has been installed at another difficult and at times dangerous intersection near Givat Asaf/Beit El. Transportation improvements sound boring, but make a huge difference when it comes to spurring development. Watch out for dramatic strengthening of the Jewish Presence in the area in the near future.

We just finished celebrating Hanukah. One of the reasons that the Maccabees rebelled against the Selucid Greeks and their Jewish allies, was that they banned the Jews from practicing the ritual of circumcision on the Jewish newborn baby boys. Although the murdered baby was not able to live to have a festive public circumcision ceremony, at every bris ceremony we say, "va’omar lach b’damayich chayi" - "I say to you, by your blood shall you live!” (Ezekiel 16:6). We shall live and and prosper in the good land that the L-rd has given to us as an inheritance.

Ben Packer

Old City, Jerusalem